Halibut and salmon fishing in Homer, Alaska
Catch of the day

  • Halibut, salmon and trout can be caught much of the year and derbies featuring cash prizes have been established during several fisheries. Charters are available for salmon and halibut trips throughout Cook Inlet or for fly-in fishing trips to outlying streams and lakes.
  • Before casting out, anglers must purchase a sport fishing license, available at many businesses around Homer. License fees range from 10 to 50 dollars depending on resident status and length of validity. A king salmon tag must also be purchased by anglers wishing to harvest these fish.
  • Anglers are requested to check the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Sport Fishing Regulations for Cook Inlet for exact dates and catch limits. These pamphlets are free and available at many businesses or the local ADFG office at 3298 Douglas Street off Ocean Drive (235-8191).

Homer Spit

  • Near the end of the Homer Spit the popular Fishing Hole provides lively action for landlocked fishermen. This recently expanded sport fishing lagoon has stocked king, pink and silver salmon which return during the summer months. Fish are released yearly by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and at maturity swim home to spawn. Anglers fish along the shore of the Fishing Hole using bait and bobbers, artificial lures and flies. Fish are generally visible either jumping or swimming below the surface. The lagoon entrance produces well at low tide when the fish are easily visible.
  • Anglers may also cast from the beach around the end of the Spit or troll just offshore for these salmon. Pink and silver salmon can be caught from the Spit and can be targeted by boaters and casters alike. Trollers use artificial divers or herring attached to flashers while casters use lures or weighted baits.
Lower Peninsula Rivers
  • The Memorial Day weekend king salmon fishery ranks as one of the state's most exciting events. During Memorial Day weekend, and the following four weekends, anglers flock to the rivers trying to catch king salmon on their way to spawning beds. River fishing has many different techniques and gear types with egg-drifting being one of the most popular and productive. Kings may also be caught trolling in front of the river mouths and charters offer this service.
  • The Anchor River is the closest river to Homer and has camping facilities. It also has the Anchor River King Salmon Derby which awards weekly and seasonal winners for the largest king salmon. Anglers may fish from the river mouth to the forks beginning just above the bridge.
  • The Ninilchik River and Deep Creek also has king salmon openings, however, fishing on the Ninilchik is only allowed for two weekends following Memorial Day. Fishing is allowed on both rivers from the mouth to a Fish and Game marker placed two miles upstream. Camping areas on both rivers provide easy access to fishing. Also both rivers host derbies for largest fish.
  • In addition, from the king salmon fisheries these rivers also have rainbow trout, Dolly Varden trout and steelhead. After July 1, anglers may fish these species for the rest of the year. However rainbow and steelhead must be released after landing.

Kachemak Bay Area

  • Kachemak Bay has many small bays, coves and lagoons which support salmon runs and fisheries. These bays are readily accessible by small boats. Boaters without local knowledge should purchase charts of the area for navigating in and around the bays. Boaters must also comply with Coast Guard safety regulations, a list of which may be picked up at the Homer Harbormaster's Office.
  • Stocked king salmon return to Halibut Cove Lagoon, six miles northeast of Homer Harbor. This run starts in early May and peaks in June. Anglers use baits and lures, casting from boats or the shore of the lagoon. The lagoon entrance is very shallow and may go dry at low tide so boaters are cautioned to be aware of the water depth at all times, and only enter when tide is flooding.
  • Straight across from the Spit is China Poot Bay, which has stocked sockeye (red) salmon which return in July and August. Commercial seiners also target these salmon and anglers may be interested in watching them in action. Anglers may cast from boats with spoons and spinners to fish the lower part of the stream. A dip net fishery, is open to Alaska residents only in July.
  • Farther to the south, Tutka Bay has a large run of pink salmon beginning in July. Anglers can enter the lagoon and cast from boats. Look for jumpers and dark areas which indicate schools of fish.
  • Finally, Seldovia Bay is also a site of an enhancement program for king salmon. These fish can be caught on spinners and bait. Trolling outside the harbor is also effective during the early stages of the run.
  • Later in the summer, silver salmon return to Seldovia lake and can be fished either from a boat or on the river bank.


  • Kachemak Bay and lower Cook Inlet waters are world renown for halibut fishing. The area supports enough halibut to satisfy summer anglers as well as yearly commercial fisheries. And this translates into excellent success rates and fun for all.
  • Since halibut can grow to great size, heavy gear is recommended. Anglers drop a heavily-weighted, baited-hook or artificial lure overboard to jig just above the ocean floor. Once a halibut is hooked it must be reeled to the surface. This process can be one of the most strenuous workouts of your life. However, many large fish, once hooked will float to the surface without a fight, perhaps saving their energy for their renown thrashing once aboard. To prevent this hazard, captains may shoot the fish at the surface of the water.

To Keep a Fish Fresh

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